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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Wales unveil Jenkins as new coach
Gareth Jenkins is the Wales coach at the second time of asking
Gareth Jenkins is the Wales coach at the second time of asking
Llanelli Scarlets director of rugby Gareth Jenkins has been named as the new Wales coach, beating Leeds Tykes counterpart Phil Davies to the job.

Jenkins has been given a two-year deal by the 17-man Welsh Rugby Union board.

It is second time lucky for people's choice Jenkins, after he lost out on the post to Mike Ruddock in 2004.

Jenkins, 54, is likely to assemble his own backroom staff, with Scarlets coach Nigel Davies joining him in the Wales camp as his right-hand man.

The grassroots support in Wales, both among the member clubs and with the public at large, was overwhelmingly in favour of Jenkins.

Under his stewardship, Llanelli and then in a new guise as the Llanelli Scarlets regional side have enjoyed a level of success above any of their Welsh rivals.

A five-man WRU panel narrowed down a shortlist of five to present the full Union board with a straight choice between Jenkins and Davies via a secret ballot.

THE GARETH JENKINS CV
Born: Burry Port, 11/09/51
Clubs: Llanelli
Position: Flanker
Playing career: Toured with Wales on the Far East tour of 1975; Wales A (1 appearance as captain vs France Rouen 1975); Barbarians (4 appearances 1976); 270 appearances for Llanelli
Coaching career: 1982-2006 Llanelli and Llanelli Scarlets; 1992-1995 Assistant Wales coach (to Alan Davies), including 1994 Five Nations title
2005 Midweek coach on the Lions tour of New Zealand.
1990, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2002 Won league title with Llanelli
1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2003 Won Welsh Cup with Llanelli
2004 Won Celtic League title with Llanelli Scarlets
2006 Becomes Wales coach on 27 April

The WRU's five-man panel consisted of chief executive Steve Lewis, chairman David Pickering, high-performance manager Mostyn Richards and board members Alan Jones and Gerald Davies.

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones, Wales defence coach Clive Griffiths and Wales Sevens coach David Rees were thought to have been the other three candidates for the 180,000-a-year post.

Jenkins seemed set to get the job in 2004, only for the WRU to appoint Ruddock instead.

Ruddock was invited to board for the Wales job as a late candidate despite not applying.

The circumstances surrounding that situation saw Jenkins vow not to apply again while Pickering and Lewis were still in charge, but he decided to try again after getting assurances over the selection process.

Pickering and Lewis are still in place and their working relationship with Jenkins, who is very much his own man, should be interesting.

It also remains to be seen how the management pair fare at an Emergency General Meeting scheduled for 14 May, with the WRU board facing a possible vote of no confidence.

The WRU's 245 member clubs want to discuss Ruddock's shock departure in February, the WRU's failure to replace David Moffett as group chief executive, and concerns over ticketing.

Although Davies did not get the Wales job he could yet leave Leeds, as he seems a ready-made replacement to take over Jenkins' role at Stradey Park.

The 42-year-old former Wales and Llanelli captain, capped 46 times as a number eight and lock, joined Leeds from Llanelli as player-coach in 1996.

Davies gave up his role as Leeds head coach last October to concentrate on his director of rugby position but - despite a brief upturn in form - the Tykes were relegated from the Guinness Premiership.

However, he did lead the Yorkshire club from Division Three to the Premiership in five years, took them into the Heineken Cup, and won the Powergen Cup last season.

The former policeman has two years remaining on his Headingley deal, so the question of compensation may arise should he return to Wales.

But Davies is still considered by Llanelli as one of their own and he would almost certainly be welcomed with open arms as Jenkins' replacement.




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: New Wales coach Gareth Jenkins


Interview: WRU Chief Executive Steve Lewis



SEE ALSO
Thomas admits to Ruddock concerns
19 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Ruddock's legacy
15 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Ruddock steps down as Wales coach
14 Feb 06 |  Internationals


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